We were asked again recently how to fit in when visiting Hawaii. What came to mind are these 7 tips on things to do in Hawaii, just revised:
Fight the urge to make U-turns on the highway.
Driving here is relaxed. Slow down and enjoy the scenery. And please avoid u-turns on even two lane highways at all cost. Highways here in Hawaii can appear likely country roads, but can be as deadly as freeways on the mainland. Don’t be complacent.
Drive something other than a convertible.
No problem at all if you do, but yes, you will stand out. Also think about sun damage to your skin and an unexpected rainstorm.
Wear shoes that aren’t new, aren’t white, and are appropriate.
Too clean shoes will look like you’re just off the plane. If you’re on Kauai, for example, remember how our red dirt can permanently stain the best of shoes and clothes. Don’t wear sandals on trails. Would you believe we’ve seen many people hiking Diamond Head crater in flip-flops or high heels.
Simple directions: know the difference between Mauka and Makai.
Makai means towards the ocean while Mauka means towards the mountain or inland. Directions work differently in Hawaii. Other than on Oahu, we don’t generally refer to highways by names or numbers. Also, in many cases using landmarks is more common in directions than street names.
Home is the mainland, not, “the states.”
While it’s certainly a long way to North America, you’re not on foreign soil here. Canadians and other international visitors are exempt.
Aloha is often as much a feeling between people rather than a word in daily conversation.
First, aloha is how you deal with people with whom you interact. Do you let them turn in traffic, or block their way?
In terms of speaking, a nice “hello” and “thanks” work too. Many of us use Aloha and Mahalo more in our written communication.
Avoid matching aloha wear.
Aloha clothing is great and common, just not typically in matched family sets.
Please add your thoughts too.